My New Year's Eves are always rather anti-climatic. Typically I spend the night reading a book, and only notice that the previous year has passed into memory some time after the event has occurred. Truthfully, deep down I really dislike the turning of the year, but I'm trying to change that.
For starters, I don't drink with any dedication or particularly enjoy using drugs. Thanks to my Tourette, willful control over my body is shaky enough to begin with; I don't particularly like giving up more of it. I live in Maine; take getting shit-faced out of the equation and you've pretty much eliminated every New Year's activity going on.
But to be honest, my bigger issue with the turn of the year is that my years haven't been so great lately. I suppose I'm a morose person to begin with, but add in fifteen hours of darkness a day and the opportunity to reflect on the passing of another twelve months into history's dustbin, and I get kinda down. I'm not much fun on my birthday either, and the two anchor the year almost exactly six months apart.
Although I didn't meet the vast majority of my goals for 2013, mostly due to my health, there was one big hope I went into the year with that came through for me, and it's quite relevant to today's post.
In December of 2012 I did something that at the time seemed even to me to be absolutely mad. I took my entire fancy Canon camera set-up and sold it all off, just when I was starting to get back into photography. The camera I had was one used by many professionals, and was easily my favorite camera I'd ever owned.
Instead I took a giant risk on a brand-new piece of photographic technology, trading my DSLR for a CSC in the form of an Olympus OMD-EM5, which had not been on the market for very long. It was a concession to the limitations of my not-so-stellar body, and I was quite bitter about it at the time, even as I tried to hold out hope that the change could be for the best.
And as it turns out, I ushered in 2014 sitting in front of my computer monitor editing photos. I'd done a large photo shoot with a local professional model who was generous enough, and taken enough with my body of work, to pose for me free of charge the day before. Plus, that evening I'd gone down to the Old Orchard Beach pier and stood with my tripod and camera in ten degree weather waiting to take the photo featured in today's Picture Tells A Story.
I was "reading" a book too, in the form of an audiobook on my phone, traditions being traditions and all.
I doubled the number of photographs I took in 2013 from the year previous, and the quality of my eye grew by leaps and bounds once carrying my camera no longer was synonymous with being in pain. Something that, going into 2013, was one of my biggest sources of unhappiness turned out to be one of my true sources of joy in the year just past.
So as I'm looking to 2014, I'm trying to have a different view on where things have gone and where they are still going.
In 2013 my husband lost his job, but got a much better one a few months later. I sold the camera that I loved, and in doing so became a better photographer than I've ever been. I got a somewhat scary medical diagnoses, but it could lead to treatment with the potential to improve my quality of life. It wasn't a great year, but it was a balanced year.
Even though I'm a New Year's Grinch, in the end I never can help myself from having hopes and plans for the new year. I know that 2014 is going to suck a lot of the time, but if just one risk taken, project pursued, or whim of fate can go as well for me and my family as the growth of my photography or Owen's new job did in 2013, I feel like I'll be able to go into 2015 with something to celebrate.